Main Content Region

History of IECE

History of IECE

History of IECE with Dr. Mike Stull

After its founding in 1999 by Dr. Pat McInturff and Dr. Jeanne King, the rapid development the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) can be traced back to Dr. Mike Stull. Since his arrival to the Jack H. Brown College of Business & Public Administration in 2002, the academic program has expanded from less than 15 students to nearly 400. The growth in students and campus programs led Dr. Stull and the IECE to create the School of Entrepreneurship at CSUSB, the first and only school of its kind in California. Under his leadership, IECE has raised more than $53 million in grants, gifts and sponsorships and achieved over $600 million in economic impact in the community.

The Center has also garnered several significant awards and recognition, including recognition from AACSB International in 2017 as one of the Top 35 Global programs for fostering entrepreneurship and innovation.

Following the mantra to “think like an owner,” a key focus has been placed on establishing relationships between students and local entrepreneurs. Dr. Stull continues to serve the campus and community as the Director of IECE and the Founding Director of the CSUSB School of Entrepreneurship.

Building A Legacy

IECE supports the efforts of students, aspiring entrepreneurs, and small business owners, in the Inland Empire by delivering a wide range of programs and services. It founded the distinguished Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards. In 2005, the first Garner Holt Student Fast Pitch Competition provided CSUSB students with the opportunity to pitch their business ideas for a cash prize, becoming a highly anticipated annual event.

More recently, the Catalyst Business Accelerator helped launch Kids that Code by providing mentoring, financial support, and a workspace to test their business idea. In addition to this, IECE has assisted over 150,000 individuals in the community through business assistance programs such as the Women’s Business Center (WBC) and Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

Campus Initiatives

On campus, IECE continues to coordinate academic programs that lead to business degrees in entrepreneurship for undergraduate and graduate students as well as delivering experiential learning and student support programs such as the Garner Holt Fast Pitch Competition, Lunch with an Entrepreneur events, CSUSB Innovation Challenge, Catalyst Student Venture Fund and the Spirit of the Entrepreneur scholarship. In addition, IECE has delivered innovative specialty education programs, such as the Integrated Technology Transfer Network (ITTN), which trained minority science students from across the nation to become technology innovators and entrepreneurial leaders of the future and helped IECE win the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education Award from the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) in 2010.

Community Outreach

In the community, IECE meets the needs of existing and startup entrepreneurs by offering business consulting services, student internship resources, and entrepreneurial training programs that help them achieve greater levels of success in their business ventures. Business programs offered by IECE include the Inland Empire & Coachella Valley Women's Business Center (WBC), Inland Empire Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Entrepreneurial Resource Centers in San Bernardino and Temecula, the Palm Desert iHub, the Catapult Growth Network, International Trade Development program, and student consulting and project teams. Recognized annually as one of the top entrepreneurship centers in the country, IECE is a key campus and community resource.

Entrepreneurship Advocacy

Each year the IECE, in collaboration with our faculty team in the School of Entrepreneurship, produces the State of Entrepreneurship Report, a comprehensive assessment of entrepreneurship activity and issues in the Inland Empire region of Southern California.

The primary goal of the report is to provide a snapshot of entrepreneurial activity and support in the Inland Empire region. Entrepreneurship data to help guide decision-making and business development. This annual report addresses that need, providing the region with key insight and responses surrounding active entrepreneurs and small business owners.

This report is a very powerful tool for policymakers, economic impact drivers, as well as business owners and entrepreneurs to analyze growth potential within the Inland Empire region. Using measurable data, we aim to identify the challenges and opportunities facing local business owners, as well as obstacles that may be impeding business growth. The end result is a concise report that will give us insight into how we can effectively learn and evolve together with a regional focus.

Learn More About IECE's Leading Programs!

Connect with IECE!